Mac or PC for Post Production Processing?

Mac or PC for Post Production Processing?

Pc-Mac-1Time for another Debate Reader Question:

Is your primary photo processing computer a PC or a Mac?

I am regularly asked by Digital Photography School readers what kind of computer is best for post production photo processing…

so I thought it might be fun (and helpful) to turn the question over to you, the wider DPS community.

So what do you use and why?

Update: Thanks for the responses so far. A number of people have commented already that it doesn’t matter whether it is a Mac or PC and that it is more to do with the software being used. I agree with this – but we’ve already asked readers for their post production software preferences and this survey is more one we’re conducting out of interest in what computer you’re using to run it.

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

  • David Ziff March 14, 2012 01:05 am

    I use an iMac with Aperture 3.x. I've tried LR but feel that the Aperture work flow is superior and easier to use.

  • Deb October 11, 2011 08:35 pm

    I was using a PC Laptop w/64 bit Windows Vista Pro 4GB mem. All my photo editing apps crashed constantly, so 1.5 years ago, I switched to a Macbook pro (2.66Ghz, i7 w/4GB of RAM) and have never looked back!

  • Dixieboy October 4, 2011 01:32 am

    I use a 27" iMac. Split screen capable makes adjusting a snap. iPhoto software is simple and very poweful and allows me to save my masters untouched. I save all my .raw files to .tiff when finished.

  • George Fragos October 3, 2011 08:09 am

    I use a PC running Ubuntu. PC doesn't mean Windows despite what Microsoft would like us to think.

  • David Ziff September 28, 2009 05:07 pm

    I use a 20 inch iMac. I'm a professional photographer in Clearwater FL and my photographer friends all use a mac without exception for post production.

  • Susan Dennis February 9, 2009 11:02 pm

    I have the recent model 15" MacBook Pro and the 24" LED Apple cinema display that I use in combination with Apple's Aperture. I also use the ColorEFXPro plug-in for Aperture, as well as the included Dodge and burn plug-in. I rarely use Photoshop real need.

  • Ken Bartle February 9, 2009 02:11 pm

    Mac G4 with Aperture. I also have Canvas X (no longer made for mac) and this software has some cute effect editing features. But in the main, Aperture gives me all the right answers. Seldom use iphoto.
    I gave up on PC's about 3 years ago and have not needed a computer technician or crash counselling ever since! And I'm so happy about that!

  • Peter G. February 7, 2009 10:19 am

    Many, many years ago I started with a PC. Little over a year a go my best friend finally talked me in to a Power Mac with OS X. I am only sorry I did not change a decade a go!!!!!! I love my Mac.

  • Cheryl December 18, 2008 02:11 am

    So far not one person, article, book ... and I have searched on forever, can truly tell me what the MAC has that the PC doesn't.

    Ease of use? Graphics? It's not really true. I have used a pc for practically my whole adult life, it's easy.

    Graphics? I don't create comic books ... I take pictures with a camera. Photoshop works well on a PC, and shows up great and accurate on my hp (calibrated, gotta remember to calibrate for the correct results) screen.

  • Cheryl December 18, 2008 02:06 am

    I use a PC. I am a big believer that as far as photography is concerned it all begins with your camera. If your photo is exposed correctly, white balance is correct, ... you are going to be able to develop a good print. Now as far as post processing I use photoshop and have a hp computer, epson printing ... all good / high end stuff ... i am very more than happy with my results. When considering the switch, especialy when purchasing my hp, I read and compared, when all was said everything matched up exactly the same, except that pc's were compatible with every one of my clients, and I could also use at home as a secondary computer (as I don't have disposable income) It was really a no brainer for a freelance photographer who really only uses the computer for minimal post production.

  • Kevin Hall December 12, 2007 04:42 am

    Been a PC guy since PC's been. I keep thinking of a MAC but I'm not sure if you can teach this old dog any new tricks. Think I'll just leave well enough alone. Im quite satisfied with my high end Dell, 24" LCD, Photoshop Lightroom and Elements 5.0.

  • Susan October 9, 2007 04:40 am

    Mac all the way! We have a total of five in our household-3 iMacs, one MacBook Pro, and one Macbook!

  • tea, earl grey October 6, 2007 04:40 am

    You know you can use Adobe Bridge to do Mass transformations just like in lightroom.

    you just edit a file with camera raw then right click on it in bridge "copy develop settings" then select as many files as you want and "apply develop settings"

  • Marshall Klickman October 3, 2007 09:21 am

    Really the biggest advantage to using Mac OS X as opposed to windows is that OS X is Unix-based and as a result much more stable than windows (that, and it actually functions to begin with).

    So, for example, if your web browser crashes while you have three projects open in Photoshop (and you of course have not saved for the past hour), you won't lose all your precious work, you won't kick and scream, and you won't send your monitor crashing down on the head of the poor guy next to you in a fit of pure Microsoft-induced rage.

    And Macs are just plain cool.

  • Pat October 1, 2007 02:59 pm

    Mac is better. I use both PC and mac everyday. Mac is faster, better looking, and I have more keys to help my workflow.

  • renato September 30, 2007 07:09 pm

    I mhave Adobe Lightroom but I use more is Potoshop CS3 with CAMERA RAW. I access the RAW pictures using bridge and from there I choose what I will "develop". Only use Lightroom if there's a group of pictures that will have the same treatment.

  • Phil September 30, 2007 06:43 am

    Just made the change from PC to Mac and a Mac Pro @ that !
    Installed Aperture and Photoshop Pro. Boy !! have I got a steep learnin' curve ahead o' me !! ??

  • Paul Collins September 29, 2007 06:04 am

    I'm a Mac support tech at a liberal arts college.
    From a strictly technical view, it doesn't matter which platform you use.
    There is nothing you can do on one that you can't do on the other.

    So it really boils down to things like cost, reliability, ease of use, and aesthetics (the latter two being wholly subjective).

    In my experience (I work closely with the PC support staff at my job), PCs are still cheaper in the short term (Not taking long-term cost of ownership into consideration. An area where Macs do better), but Macs are generally more reliable and the Mac OS tends to be more appealing to artists.

  • Lyndon Canam September 28, 2007 11:06 pm

    I had always been a PC user and just recently purchased an iMac. While the mac world is so much more enjoyable, easier, smoother,'s a much better OS....bla bla bla...I see no difference as far as processing photos. I believe both are equal that way, all boils down to software and what you're most comfortable with. Though I do believe the mac monitors show you better detail.

  • Chad McCullough September 28, 2007 08:39 pm

    I use The GIMP on my FreeBSD box and on my Linux laptop.

  • Saleh September 28, 2007 07:47 pm

    Mac! although now I'm in uni and with a PC

  • DB September 28, 2007 02:00 pm

    Gimp on Ubuntu. Like other habe already mentioned... there is no hardware difference between PC and MAC... however the OS choices still exist.

  • Joe September 28, 2007 06:51 am

    I run Kubuntu Linux on my desktop machine. It's a free and maintenance-free OS. Don't even get me started on all the time I used to spend just keeping my copy of Windows XP updated, virus free, malware free, etc. The switch to Linux has been great. And this leads into our discussion. As a result of the switch, I spend less time maintaining my system and more time using it as a photography tool. Imagine that.

    For an advanced user, Linux (and to a lesser extent Mac OS X) is the OS of choice. Why? Scripting, among other things. I can take large batches of files and write my own scripts to process them. This is without the need for any software; just basic shell scripting. ImageMagick is a great command line tool I incorporate into my scripts for a lot of the more heavy duty work. GIMP gets used for more serious editing while Google Picasa is my basic photo editor and reviewer of choice.

    And another utilitarian advantage for Linux is its powerful command line for other related photography tasks. With the combination of "cron" and "rsync" I backup my photos every night over the home network onto my server which acts as a secondary repository for my work. Not only does that mean that I'm protected if my main machine dies, but also I can access the photos from anywhere in the world.

    All this is done w/o buying ANY additional software. This all comes with the free Linux OS. Have fun replicating that workflow in Windows.

  • George Fragos September 28, 2007 05:43 am

    I use Linux and Gimp. I wouldn't touch a Microsoft PC with a 10 foot pole. Gimp does a good job but does have a long learning curve. If Photoshop was designed for Linux I'd have used it. There's more help on the web to use Photoshop than any other image editor.

  • Matthew G. September 28, 2007 04:57 am

    I use Windows. But, if I had the funds I'd like, I'd use a Mac. "Best" is subjective. If someone has the money to invest, they should get a Mac if they're using it for photos. Why? Because, in the LONG RUN they will be better off. I've spent a decade working with Windows systems... and it's not worth it. I'm tired of them. The problems and variable for something to break or get screwed up is tremendous. In short: If you have the money and are asking what to buy, buy a Mac. :)

  • JAHphoto September 28, 2007 02:34 am

    PC with Adobe Lightroom and CS3 when I want HDR..

  • David September 28, 2007 01:49 am

    Mac at home (where I do most of my post-processing) and PC at the office (mostly for shots destined for papers and presentations).

  • Anna September 28, 2007 01:44 am

    I use a Mac because I prefer how much closer you can get the screen colors to balance correctly. And I like the OS much better. Then when I'm done with production I can switch over to Windows on the same laptop to do some work. You can't have both OS's on a PC.

  • James September 28, 2007 01:18 am

    Macintosh G4 Quicksilver. Been using Macs professionally for about 10 years now - within the design industry.
    Personally I prefer them, but I'm biased!

    At the end of the day computers are tools - but sometimes it's nicer to have a really smart looking tool and one you enjoy using!


  • Rusty September 28, 2007 01:08 am

    Macbook Pro, 15" (going to buy a 17" when the new ones come out) and Photoshop 3 or iPhoto 08. A spyder pro color calibration device. I love my Mac!

  • Marco September 28, 2007 12:58 am

    I have both a iMac 20" and a PC (P4 with a 20''). I prefer the iMac over the PC for post processing (with Aperture) mainly because I've never been able to get the color right on my PC. I'm sure it's just me but since the iMac worked right since the beginning it seemed to me a no brainer.
    I also like the better integration between applications on the mac. It adds that little comfort that makes everything feel more consistent.

  • Graeme September 26, 2007 06:32 pm

    Been a MacBoy for 5 years now, I generally use iPhoto for the simple things and used to use Photoshop for the more complex. Finally though I can ditch the Adobe package and go buy Pixelmator! Also considering using Aperture in place of iPhoto, but not sure if it's overkill or not...

  • Prakash September 26, 2007 02:28 pm

    I use Linux and have a script to process the images quickly.

  • Sandman September 26, 2007 08:37 am

    I use a PC. I gave up on Macs years ago.

  • Ben Hayes September 26, 2007 08:18 am

    My completer answer is that it depends on what type of digitial image I'm processing. For processing of multi-spectral digital images taken by satellites for my geologic work, I rely on Windows PC-based ArcGIS software. For processing digital camera images taken using my Nikon D50, I use my MacBook Pro all the time. My Windows/PC - although incredibly sleek and fast - is just not as integrated, efficient, and stable as the Mac OSX environment. To me, WIndows feels clunky, ugly, and limited compared to the Mac.

  • Pilot371 September 26, 2007 05:02 am

    I use PC, with CS2
    Grew up using Macs.

    Both machines can do the job.

  • Vinylkemist September 26, 2007 03:16 am

    Use both PC and Mac. Once could debate endlessly on which is better. I use Lightroom + CS3 on PC with Vista and Aperture + CS3 on Mac with OSX -- neither is easier or harder to use, its knowing the OS that matters.

  • earl grey September 26, 2007 01:18 am

    i use a hackintosh,

    because PC's are cheap and MacOS is a wonderful piece of software.

    i come from a unix background and appreciate being able to use photoshop and then drop into a shell.

    though i can't afford a real mac.

    i feel like photoshop runs much better in MacOS.

    i do everything on a now far too old pentium M laptop hooked up to an even older 21 inch sony crt. a small part of the reason i shoot in JPG is that doing RAW was near impossible on this machine.

    as for differences between Mac/PC's screens, if you correctly calibrate both then you shouldn't have much trouble switching between.

  • NaturesPixel September 25, 2007 11:30 pm

    i use a Mac, tho do have a PC in the dark scary

  • Joey Rico September 25, 2007 07:16 pm

    i think its a matter of preference... but as a graphic artist and primarily uses a mac, i use a mac with CS3 and aperture!!!!!!

  • Paul September 25, 2007 05:32 pm

    I use Aperture on an iMac with Dual Displays and it works beautifully!

  • Olivier H September 25, 2007 05:31 pm

    I've been using Apple computers since 1987.
    Still happy, with my Powerbook G4, Capture NX and Photoshop CS.

  • Chris M. Jacobson September 25, 2007 05:15 pm

    Mac, with Aperture.

  • Bryan September 25, 2007 10:17 am

    I personally use lightroom on both a mac laptop and a high end desktop pc,
    using lightroom for raw processing and ps cs3 for selective editing on both machines alows for complete transparency when working between two machines.
    and te interface is the same in lightroom so mac vs pc is almost a mute point
    although i do prefer the mac interface for photoshop

  • agustin September 25, 2007 10:12 am

    You can use photoshop or lightroom on a Mac. . oh wait you can do that on a PC too.

    Anyways I have a PC although Apple's advertising is really convincing

  • Michael September 25, 2007 08:12 am

    For the guy who asked about the Huey and Spider. I've used both (and a few others brands) When we installed a few Huey's at a prepress shop we had high hops for it but were disappointed, it's just to basic. The Spider works great as do a number of other models. But the Huey only measures ambiance and adjusts the monitor brightness. it claims to make adjustments to the color temp in accordance to what the light is doing in the room but we could not prove that even under testing. I'd stick with the spider and use it once a month, even on an LCD. By the way in many pro shops and prepress shops the monitors and proof printers get calibrated every day.

  • Michael Seljos September 25, 2007 07:58 am

    I've used Mac's from the beginning and would never consider anything else. The Windows operating system was created to compete with Mac's user-friendly operating system, but it falls far short in my opinion. Windows is just a poor facsimile of the Mac operating system. Go buy a Mac!

  • Pete September 25, 2007 03:02 am

    I recently bought a Mac for my own personal use, and have a PC for work. For me, the Mac has worked wonderfully for the following reasons:
    1. Even though Iphoto is as basic as it gets, it still has some great editing features.
    2. I travel with my 15" MacBook Pro with other grad students. The fact that I do not have to download drivers to download pictures from other cameras is AMAZING. I travel to places where there is not easy internet access, so I don't have to worry "Can I get the pictures off of this different camera" and "Am I am going to need updates to keep my computer safe while I travel to this third world naiton."
    3. My PC struggles big time with multimedia processing. It is a newer IBM laptop, with 2 gigs of RAM, and struggles with multitasking and multimedia processing. Speed wise, there is no comparison.
    4. There were several people in my masters program that were EXTREMELY impressed by my MacBook Pro and even more frustrated with their PC. I know at least 2 converted and i think there may be more on the way.
    It was expensive to switch, but worth EVERY penny. I can't imagine ever buying a personal computer that is a PC. If I could afford it, I would buy the MacPro.

  • Graeme Boxwell September 25, 2007 02:46 am

    PC for me. I've built my own PC's for the last two or three machines I have owned. I used to do a lot of gaming and probably grew up using PCs because of this. I now work in Media (video streaming, etc) in an organisation that has predominently PC's.

  • Charmaine Lake September 25, 2007 01:06 am

    I use Paint Shop Pro Photo X2 and Nikon Capture NX...not really more than I need but that, of course on Windows.

    I've been a PSP and Windows loyalist from the beginning.

  • Corey Davis September 25, 2007 12:37 am

    I was born and raised on a Mac. PC's scare me. :p

  • Mark September 25, 2007 12:32 am

    PC, running Kubuntu. PPP is done with a mix of digikam and GIMP.

  • bumeister September 25, 2007 12:22 am

    I use a Mac for several reasons. I've used Macs in my home for 20 years, and prefer OS X to all versions of Windows. Plus, I'm a unix guy by trade, so I like the BSD unix underpinnings of OS X.

    But really at this point it's largely a matter of personal preference; computers are tools, and as most image processing software is available on either platform, it doesn't much matter which is used.

  • Adam September 25, 2007 12:16 am

    I have used both PC and MAC....I prefer my MacBook Pro along with Aperture,CS2 and Canon's Digital Photo Pro for my post processing. Eventually going to an all MAC household.

  • VickiD September 25, 2007 12:15 am

    I use a PC...have used one since I first got into computers. I do know how to use a Mac and have used them, but there's nothing I can do on a Mac that I can't do just as well on a PC AND the PC applications are updated on a more regular basis. I use my PC for other work, as well, so it's exactly what I need. For my post-production, I use Photoshop CS3 and the Bridge and am learning Lightroom, but it's not incorporated into my workflow yet.

  • Devyn September 25, 2007 12:13 am

    I always thought that Macs were for elitist snobs until I started dating a Mac person. After a while, I too drank the proverbial Kool-aid and made the switch, afterwhich I made the realization that I had been a Mac person all along, and had wasted ten years on a PC.

    I have a 15" Mac Book Pro and use a 22" Samsung monitor (at home), I have now been a Mac user for 18 months. While i am no longer dating the person that caused me to switch, I don't forsee a time I will ever go back to PC.

    I very rarely encounter issues with my Mac, and it has never crashed. I will aknowledge that this hasn't been the most economical experience. Because I have tens of thousands of images, I have upgraded my laptop to a 160 gig hard drive, 2 gigs of memory, added two 250 gig external drives (with a double back up system) and plenty of other related investments. But in the end, it is still worth all of it.

    I even have my 68 y/o father looking at making the switch (he hates Vista).

  • Cindy September 25, 2007 12:11 am

    Mac! Because it doesn't crash on me. EVER. My PC would crash, lock up, or give me the "blue screen of death" constantly. I still use Photoshop.

  • Bob September 25, 2007 12:04 am

    I just switched to Mac for a variety of reasons but I don't think there is a difference for processing photos. Only if you HAVE to have Aperture. I use Lightroom and I love it.

  • Jamie September 24, 2007 11:57 pm

    I like macs! Less of a computer, more of a tool for making/doing cool stuff!

  • MikeC September 24, 2007 11:52 pm

    MAC only!! I became extremely frustrated with Windows several years ago, so I switched to MAC and OSX. I have never been happier with any computer or operating system. I use Aperture and Photoshop CS2 as well.

  • Skyfisher September 24, 2007 11:52 pm

    I use a Mac, I have an 5 year old Mac and a newer PC side by side, but I like the quality and integration of tools on the Mac. The PC has more choices for Photo editing tools, but the Mac has a great interface and sufficient tools for my needs.

    I'll be upgrading my Mac to the latest thing this year.

  • Ken Sargent September 24, 2007 11:43 pm

    After many years of using PC's, I switched to Macs over a year ago. I couldn't imagine ever going back to a Windows-based system. I use a PC at work so my decision is reinforced 5 days a week. The Windows OS certainly works, but it is clunky compared to OSX. I couldn't imagine using anything but Apple at home ever again.

  • Hick September 24, 2007 11:36 pm

    PC because that's what I know...with Lightroom and CS3.

  • Roger R September 24, 2007 11:36 pm

    PC with 19"LCD and 19"CRT.
    Windows XP, IrfanView, Picasa, Fireworks 8 and Gimp
    I always check photos on both screens.

    Some have mentioned Mac for music - I've built a dedicated PC for my music-production and it works great ;)

  • Danny September 24, 2007 11:33 pm

    I use a Mac. Have you ever noticed that those who have converted from a PC to a Mac, "love it"? I don't see any posts of users converting from a Mac to a PC, and loving it. I think of Mac as state of the art technology, for those in the creative community. Just my 2 cents.

  • Clarkee September 24, 2007 11:29 pm

    I have a 20" G5 Imac and a 13" intel macbook, i also use a pc in one of the studio's i work in.
    Macs win hands down.
    I would not swap my macs for anything.

  • Sybren September 24, 2007 11:24 pm

    I use a PC running Kubuntu Linux (which is Ubuntu with a KDE frontend). For image processing I mainly use Bibble Pro with the occasional Gimp usage for heavy editing and Hugin for panorama stitching.

    Oh and please - PC means Personal Computer, which can just as well be a Mac.

  • Adam September 24, 2007 09:26 pm

    I switched to Mac's about a year ago and now if you wanted to take them away from me, you'd have to pry them from my cold, dead hands. I got so tired of the multiple issues with every PC I owned. I was nervous about learning a new interface after using PC's for so many years, but I find Mac's to be very intuitive. I'll take my 20" iMac or my MacBook with Lightroom and CS3 all day over any PC.

  • Matthew Miller September 24, 2007 09:17 pm


    PS: the reason your pictures look different on Mac and Windows is a different default gamma curve. You can change that, or else adjust with that in mind.

  • St. Vladimir September 24, 2007 09:11 pm

    If you all dont know how to calibrate your monitor , thats fine ... but you do know that can also be done on windows platform ?

  • Anton September 24, 2007 08:47 pm

    my pc got hit by a virus an d was so frustrated with my laptop that i decided to give the mac a try.. that was several years back have upgraded my mac 3x already and love it more and more.. expecially that virus threats are not a major concern anymore.

  • Wilfrank Paypa September 24, 2007 07:53 pm

    PC user for the past 10years and just upgraded my PC and have no problem so far with processing my raw files on windows xp, CS2, Nikon Capture and NX, Photomatix. I might try Mac in the future but I just don't have the need to change right now.

  • Jesper September 24, 2007 07:14 pm

    Personally I use a PC running Windows XP with CS3 and lightroom 1.2. Don't really get the whole "mac-thing" although I'm not religious about it. Haven't really seen the need to upgrade to Vista either, although my rig is quite capable of running it.

  • Fraser September 24, 2007 06:34 pm

    Having worked on PC's for the past 7 years as a web developer i've recently switched back to a Mac for home and personal use [still on a dell at work]. The reasons?:

    Display - PC laptop displays suck. Period. [yes even the sony] The MacBookPro screen is excellent. Once calibrated.

    Operating System - Fast, small footprint and solid. XP is a huge memory and storage hungry beast. Don't get me started on Vista.

    Cost - yes, cost! To spec a PC laptop that compares to the MBP [in the UK] you end up spending the same if not more.

    Design - Everyone who takes Photos likes good design otherwise their pictures would suck. The Macs are design personified.

    Speed - Way fast.

    Stuff - Backlit keyboard, Built in camera, Metal construction, cool supplied software that actually makes life easier for you [although on the laptop, Aperture is too slow when compared with Lightroom]

    Anyway you get the picture [pun intended]

  • Tommy September 24, 2007 05:32 pm

    I use a PC running the Kubuntu distribution of linux. I have favored the open source program Gimp over Photoshop. 1 it's hard to argue with free, especially since it let's me use an OS that's also free. 2 it runs smoother, even on older machines in the office.
    Mac is expensive, and is just a Unix based PC. I'm not going to shell out all that money for what I can get for free, and upgrade parts on without losing my mind.
    Windows, well windows is windows. I don't do any photo work on it for fear of the crashes that were the impetus of the office switch.

  • kunaldaswani September 24, 2007 05:09 pm

    Use a PC but wish i had a MAC. Think a MAC will be better

  • Rodbotic September 24, 2007 04:18 pm

    I use a PC, win xp pro, just upgraded to cs3,
    the desktop is setup with 3 screens(2 dual head cards, meaning I can go up to 4). your just not productive with one screen, try more.seriously!!
    my wife dislikes going on a single screen system after using our system.

    but it is all about the user.

    I haven't need to touch the main computer as for maintaining it . the reason we don't use IE or outlook.
    quit downloading "free" games and your problems go away!!. period.

    now that ubuntu is supporting ATI dual head cards I will be looking into that a little more.

    also you have been able to Run OSX on a PC for much longer than you have been able to run XP on MAC.

  • macstrat September 24, 2007 04:08 pm

    I use a MBP 15" intel for everything. Lightroom and Photoshop are my post tolls to

  • dezza September 24, 2007 03:53 pm

    does anyone use a huey or spyder? woudl using one of those make more of a difference to post production processing?

  • rediguana September 24, 2007 03:39 pm


    As someone that maintains both PC and Mac laptops in our business, I waste far more time maintaining PCs than I do the Macs. So, to those that say there is no difference between PCs and Macs - I disagree. I've had about 20 years on PCs and around 3.5 years on Macs now. Also happily use Linux.

  • apurohit September 24, 2007 03:26 pm

    PC running Linux and the Gimp and Hugin :)

  • mokusa September 24, 2007 02:49 pm

    I use a Mac at home and a PC at work, both computers have Photoshop CS2 and Lightroom. While it's true that software is more important than the kind of computer being used, it's also true that the kind of computer matters too. Photoshop on a PC has always been buggy and frustrating, while on a Mac it is a joy. As far as post production with Adobe Lightroom on the PC goes, I won't even use it on the work PC anymore because even though my (Apple 24") monitor is calibrated, the images always look dull and lacking in contrast when I look at them later on the Mac. Besides, if you are at a point where you are buying a new computer, then there is no contest, You will love the Mac for so many reasons. Bottom line, if you plan to use Photoshop, get the Mac.

  • Mike September 24, 2007 02:12 pm

    Mac!!! have a 15" Powerbook and I hook it up to a 23" Cinema Display! =)

  • Aten September 24, 2007 01:56 pm

    Had a PC was OK then got a MAC and love it!

  • Sebastian September 24, 2007 01:31 pm

    Windows Xp machine - Adobe bridge CS3 & Photoshop CS3.
    I also use a spyder 2 express to calibrate my monitor for print.

  • benjamieson September 24, 2007 01:18 pm

    Macs since '84. Currently and MPB, Aperture, PS CS3.

    Colour management in Mac OS X is much better than Windows, so a logical choice for me as a designer and hobbyist photographer.

    Having been a user of Macs and Windows based PC's for the last 10 years, I chose the one that let me get on with my work, not the one that needed looking after 24/7.

    Just my personal preference, YMMV!

  • Richard September 24, 2007 12:57 pm

    PC at home and at work. I have to use a PC at work, so a PC at home just makes life easier.

  • Scotty September 24, 2007 12:51 pm

    Mac. No question. I switched a year and a half ago and have no regrets.
    I love the fact that I can still run the odd Windows app through Boot Camp. It's the best of both worlds.

  • denny September 24, 2007 12:49 pm

    Mac Pro Quad with Aperture

  • D.G. Hollums September 24, 2007 12:37 pm

    Ijust switch to Mac (Book Pro) and am using CS3. I just moved from PC to Mac because Mac is my laptop...I so no difference between CS3 in each computer.

  • Matty September 24, 2007 12:21 pm

    My preference is a MAC, I prefer the UI of the OS. However I think I would always stick with a PC for the reason of upgrades. It is simpler to upgrade a PC, whether it be more hard drives, more memory, better graphics card etc etc.

    If Mac OSX was more cost effective I'd got for it in a second.

  • Benjamin Solah September 24, 2007 12:13 pm

    I use a PC for all my post-processing work. This is mainly because I use a PC for most of my other work and photography isn't a high enough priority to influence my choice of computer. Though if it did influence my choice of computer, it'd probably still be a PC.

  • Michael Margolies September 24, 2007 12:02 pm

    I use Mac's but just like my choice in camera it's for the most part, I use what I started with. My first SLR was a Canon, when I upgraded I bought another Canon. I had nothing against Nikon, or any other brand, it's just that I kept investing in Canon and had no reason to convert. I use a Mac but I did not start there. I started on an Osborn running CPM. I have used most all platforms and am comfortable on most of the current ones. Even Sun, SGI, and Linux. But as a designer and Photographer who has worked in the business for over 18 years Apple is what we all used. When desktop publishing emerged you did it on a Mac. When digital photographer first started on cameras that cost more than most people's cars (even the bosses car) you ran the camera from a dedicated Mac with proprietary software and cards. So I bought more Macs, my software was all for the Mac and like lenses for my Camera it only makes sense to continue to use a Mac.

    Sure I know anything I do can also be run on a PC, but it can also be done on a Sun, SGI, Linux, and a variety of UNIX OS' I choose to continue with my Mac and very possibly always will because I'm there, very comfortable, I own 8 Macs (1 PC and 1 Sun). I won't make arguments over which is best beyond this: There are more PC users among entry level users and into the semi pro who work from home. Once you cross the line into real pro's with real studios shooting commercial, fashion, industrial etc, the majority switches to Mac owners. The same is true in desktop publishing, and graphic design. The larger the studio the greater the likelihood that they use Mac's. For me and the kind of work I do that is enough, I work with and consult for high end professionals, they use Mac's, so I do as well. It garners a certain amount of respect among these high-end users. Which is better? It does not really matter, I use the tool of choice that my peers use.

  • tray September 24, 2007 11:56 am


  • Tim September 24, 2007 11:35 am

    I was going to start an Apple rant, but what is the point? I write software for Windows platforms and I am not going to own two machines. I also haven't been able to justify yet spending the money on something like CS3. So far now it is Windows and Paint Shop Pro or Paint.NET.

  • NikonnooB September 24, 2007 10:17 am

    Since you're asking...... Definitely MAC for my own machine. Been doing it for years. I'm a Mac Consultant, and I teach. I teach on both Mac and Windows, and find Windows to be clunkier (at least, XP - haven't used Vista yet). I do run Windows XP on my Mac as well (for teaching purposes).

    As for maintaining the computer, Mac is just miles easier and more efficient, so I stay productive longer. Also, use Photoshop CS3. Want to try Lightroom or Aperture, someday. Of course, Aperture'll require my Mac.

    The monitor issue is moot here. I use a Dell monitor, and I use hardware calibration, anyway.

  • Brian Auer September 24, 2007 09:14 am

    PC running CS3 on Vista.

  • Rick September 24, 2007 08:50 am

    I use a Dell XPS 600 running Windows XP Pro mainly because I work in the software industry and our product is PC based.

  • C September 24, 2007 08:42 am

    PC, and i'm in agreement with cbinsa. Personally, as long as i can run Photoshop, i'm not fussed (although I've used PCs all my life so that makes it easier).

  • Duluoz September 24, 2007 08:36 am

    Having used both Macs and Pc, it truly makes no difference as far as the OS. Both Macs and Pcs can be made to preform equally. The software's output when configured is identical. The hardware is not even a factor anymore as all can work on both. If you have the money and the knowledge on setting up a proper work station for post production - it makes zero difference what OS is behind the scenes as the experience of post production is not in the OS but in the software. I use both and get the job done on both with no issues. If you want to save a few bucks buy PC. And as far as decor goes - you haven't shopped around if you're enamored by Macs packaging.

  • Mike September 24, 2007 08:02 am

    Mac, it's been a standard at about 3 other agencies I worked at over the years and now deploy the same in my company.

    As for PLouie's comment right off the top, you can always just change the gamma settings to see how it looks in both environments, or, like we do with all of our web testing work, just try it all the programs you need on PC Test Box. Since all our machines, home or office for that matter, are all networked you just open it on the machine you want.

    Plus the Macs just look cooler. Ha.

  • ToddC September 24, 2007 07:49 am

    I use a Mac and CS2 to process my RAW images.

  • James September 24, 2007 07:48 am

    I use a mixture of Windows XP with Adobe Lightroom and Paint Shop Pro, and Ubuntu with the GIMP. So it's all PC-land for me. Lightroom rocks! And I agree with cbinsa. :)

  • Ben Young September 24, 2007 07:44 am

    Surely this isnt a debate about mac and pc.... it should be about the software. For instance i bet 90% of the people on here use photoshop which runs on pc and mac, and most of what people have been posting is "i have a x" screen".

    So buying a pc or mac isnt going to make any difference in my books, its about software + monitor.

  • sime September 24, 2007 07:40 am

    Both...Wifes asleep so MBP 15" in the lounge... During the day my main tool is the PC in the bedroom... Both great, Both run lightroom a treat... love them both... (Matt, love your mac shot mate!)

  • Agos September 24, 2007 07:24 am

    Mac all the way. I could not imagine, at this point of my life, managing my workflow on a OS with no system-wide color management. It just gives me the headaches :D

  • Jason September 24, 2007 07:20 am

    I use several Macs, a 24" iMac and an older G5 PowerMac. I use Aperture iPhoto, and Photoshop CS3 for post processing. If I need to use XP for anything I use Parallels.

  • mdwsta4 September 24, 2007 07:04 am

    been using macs for about 4 years now. love em!

  • his4ever September 24, 2007 06:25 am

    I use PC... but I work with a different OS... I use Linux with GIMP. :D

  • Max September 24, 2007 06:16 am


  • Photowalking Trevor September 24, 2007 06:05 am

    I use a Mac mini w/ a 19" Dell monitor.

    I prefer Mac because I want to remain creative and productive. I'm not interested in being an IT tech, I want the machine to be a tool that works.

  • cbinsa September 24, 2007 05:55 am

    PC because that is all I've ever used.

    If I were a betting man (and I am), I would lay odds that the vast majority of hobbyist photographers (like me) use whatever they have rather than picking a platform based on their hobby.

    I could be wrong, but that doesn't happen often!

  • Robert Jan September 24, 2007 05:23 am

    I use a 24" iMac with photoshop elements 4.0 and CS3. The main things I do in post processing are optimising RAW pictures (NEFs) and cropping.

  • Colin September 24, 2007 05:20 am

    The question is a little moot from the post-processing point of view. Most photo software you would use on a PC, you can use on a Mac (or at least an equivalent) and vice versa. Getting a PC or Mac comes down to the personal choice of whether you prefer Windows or Mac (although you can use Windows on the recent Macs). As for me, I like Vista with Lightroom.

  • St. Vladimir September 24, 2007 05:13 am

    Pc or Mac , there is no difference ... as long as you have Adobe on it .

  • Embrownny September 24, 2007 05:03 am

    I use a MAC. I've been a MAC user for many years. As a graphic designer, it is the industry standard. But I also feel the MAC is more user friendly and easier to use and maintain than a PC--and not to mention a lot cooler. :-)

  • Len September 24, 2007 04:58 am

    I don't do a lot of processing, but I use PC running Linux - ufraw to load raw images, then the Gimp.

  • Gordy September 24, 2007 04:36 am

    I use a MacBook with a 22 inch monitor and iPhoto. Sometime I use Photoshop, but I'm an iLife worker, so I basically use the iLife suite for as much as possible.

    - Gordy

  • allen September 24, 2007 04:08 am

    use a powerbook and a 17 inch intel imac with lightroom and photoshop cs3 on both. I do a lot of shooting on the road so its good to be able to edit on the fly. I prefere to use the Imac though since it has dual screens.

    At work I have a pc with cs2 and photoshop elements3 on it. I usually end up using my powerbook though.

  • Gary Gulley September 24, 2007 03:55 am

    15" Macbook Pro (brand new Santa Rosa model), CS3, and LightRoom. I use PC's regularly at work, which just reaffirms why I use Macs at home.

    Oh, and to all you new Mac converts, a very hearty welcome. Be careful, you might learn to LOVE to use your computer now.

  • Diane Hwang September 24, 2007 03:51 am

    All of my processing is done on an Apple, and I like to us iPhoto for presentations. I love my Apple laptop, and am planning to get the 24" iMac.

  • Sam Williamson September 24, 2007 03:02 am

    PC with Paint.NET. I've tried Photoshop, Mac, and more, but I find that PDN does just about all I need. I've found that I really don't like the Mac user interface. I guess it's a matter of preference.

  • Penny September 24, 2007 03:00 am

    I use a 20 inch iMac with Aperture for most of it. Rarely use photoshop but I have it in case I need it. On the road I use an iBook with iPhoto for storage and a quick look until I get back to the office. I need to move up to a Powerbook for travel work.

  • Daniel Bachhuber September 24, 2007 02:59 am

    MacBook, Aperture, and CS3 all the way babay!

    The setup is as slow as a dog, though, and I need to upgrade.

  • Brian Lewis September 24, 2007 02:44 am

    Macintosh. MBP 15" with Aperture and Photoshop is my primary photo rig.

  • Klaidas September 24, 2007 02:39 am

    Mac is usually used for photo/audio/video editing/rendering. So MAC would be a primary choice for photo post production. Yet it's possible to do that on PC (by possible I mean "not too different from a mac"). I myself use a PC.

  • Sharon Byers September 24, 2007 02:26 am

    Totally Mac for over a decade

  • Rygood September 24, 2007 02:26 am

    just went mac and will never go back :)

  • Christel September 24, 2007 02:20 am

    A PC.
    1: We don't have a Mac
    2: I do not know very well about Mac's
    3: I learned all things about postproccesing on the PC

  • Bill Turley September 24, 2007 02:11 am

    PC I have always prefered the MS systems since TRS80 days and hjave seen no reason to change

  • Mjuboy September 24, 2007 02:00 am

    PC because I dont have a Mac.

    And I dont plan on getting one in the near future either, I'm pretty happy with my PC.

  • Heather Kay September 24, 2007 01:42 am

    I use a Mac, purely because that's what I have used professionally for over a decade now. I don't "do" Windows! ;o)

    The Mac vs PC debate these days is not so clear-cut. As other posters have noted, the gamma setting is the biggest difference, but since you can choose to use a Windows gamma on the Mac, or set Photoshop to simulate Windows RGB, it's difficult.

    It gets muddier when you factor in colour profiles and whether the monitor has been calibrated or not, and so on. I've opted to use Adobe RGB throughout my workflow, and I have a hardware colour calibrator as well. Whether it makes a difference in the end it's hard to tell, because I'm not fanatical about it. I adjust the image on screen until I'm happy, but rarely commit to print.

  • Dan September 24, 2007 01:25 am

    Once I get my D40 on Tuesday I'll be doing all of my post processing on a Mac :)

  • Ramón September 24, 2007 01:19 am

    I didn't know you COULD use a PC for PPP!

  • Prateek Rungta September 24, 2007 01:18 am

    I use a Mac with Aperture for most of the post processing and Photoshop occasionally. I enjoy working on my Mac, which is not something I can say about my experience with my old PC.

  • ignacio September 24, 2007 01:09 am

    I use Photoshop CS2 in Windows. Sometimes I try to use The GIMP in Ubuntu, but it's too hard to switch.

    If you don't want to use Windows and you want to use Ubuntu but you still need Photoshop you can try Crossover. It enables you to run windows app in Linux.

  • Jamie September 24, 2007 01:08 am

    I use a Mac because I have two. They're a lot easier (and more fun) to use and I don't have to think about the fact that I'm using a computer. It's pretty transparent.

  • thekevinmonster September 24, 2007 01:03 am

    I use a mac for reasons having nothing to do with photography... you can use a mac or a PC to do a lot of content creation these days, and probably get the same results.

    I use a mac because I like it more than I like Windows PCs.

  • David Rickard September 24, 2007 12:57 am

    I use a PC. I considered using my Mac, but I'm most comfortable with the PC. The biggest concern for me is getting my colour matching correct, and I can do that with the PC, just as well as the Mac. TBH, I don't think it matters at all which you use, as long as you're comfortable using it. I'm sure there's people out there using Acorn RISC PCs and Amigas for photo work still!

  • Tim September 24, 2007 12:54 am

    I use a PC (17" Dell laptop with The GIMP), not for its specific post-processing merits but because it's what I'm used to, and what's most compatible with applications I want and need it to run. That said, I've used an eMac for post-processing before with CS2, and I enjoyed it enough. To get a fair comparison on the issue, I'd have to run the same app side-by-side on equivalent Mac and PC setup... I don't see that happening anytime soon.

  • marc September 24, 2007 12:53 am

    I was PC but I went Mac about a month ago and love it!

  • Luis Matias September 24, 2007 12:47 am


  • Pascal Hertleif September 24, 2007 12:28 am

    I just a my new 24" iMac last month and I really love to do post production with aperture on it. :)

  • Brandon Martinez September 24, 2007 12:27 am

    I use a 17" iMac for post-processing, with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop CS3. My pictures always turn out great, and look great when I print them.

  • Graeme Smith September 24, 2007 12:23 am

    I use a 24" iMac with Aperture and Photoshop for my post processing. Works great! I've always been a Mac user so it's not much of a choice.

  • James September 24, 2007 12:22 am

    What's the difference these days? Both Macs and PCs run the same chip-sets and hardware. Or did you really mean Mac OS versus Windows? And if so, what about those of us that use neither?

  • PLouie September 24, 2007 12:18 am

    I use a PC but plan to also use Mac for general use in the future. However, I have really noticed recently that my photos look very different on Macintosh computers because of their Apple monitors which have different gamma and color settings. They tend to make my PC processed photos look brighter and more saturated. Sometimes it makes the photo look better, sometimes it looks about the same, and sometimes it just makes it look plain awful.

    Because most users use PCs, I suppose it's the better choice to process photos on my PC so viewers will see my photos close to what I originally intended.